Just because a cat is scared...
Two months ago a married couple brought their cat to me, and the experience was so depressing, that I still haven't been able to shake that bad feeling.
At the start of the day, I reviewed my appointment book, and was caught off guard to see that we had a client coming to the clinic for the first time, and they were requesting euthanasia. Ending a cat's life is tremendously taxing emotionally, and I cannot imagine doing so without knowing why. However, within seconds of looking at the cat later that day, I had no doubt that this cat needed to be put to sleep. She was a walking skeleton with a low core body temperature and a dull mentation. I knew it was the proper move, so I didn't inquire as to the course of events preceding the visit. She was on course to pass away within days, but was obviously suffering, so I had the staff get ready to perform the procedure.
What I didn't expect was the look I got when I looked into one of the owner's eyes. She wanted to be sure there was nothing that could be done. I confidently assured her that was the case, but what I couldn't say was that if she had only come sooner, we would have likely been able to avoid this day. That just brakes my heart. From examination, it was clear to me that the cat's condition was brought on by an uncontrolled endocrine disease called hyperthyroidism. This is something we now have the opportunity to CURE with just one injection, yet this cat was dying from it.
Now, hyperthyroidism is not necessarily a walk in the park, and there is money and other factors to consider, but this family never gave themselves the opportunity. Once upon a time, someone told them their cat was a bad cat, and they should never bring that cat back to their clinic. And they did just that. They loved their cat, but they never had it examined again at any veterinary clinic because someone suggested that it was "mean."
There are no mean cats, just scared ones; and just because a cat is scared, it shouldn't be deprived of medical care if that is what the family wants. Seeing that couple cry their hearts out in front of a complete stranger tells me that they wanted just that. If you have a cat who behaves defensively in the veterinary clinic, don't fret over it. A good vet is going to know when to reach for a little chemical restraint (with your permission of course), and you'll be able to keep your beloved companion healthy into their golden years.